The direction is see it moving in is making it much more difficult, risky and time consuming to harm other characters. It is becoming more "realistic" (as cringe as that term is to use in a game) and less cartoony / video gameish.
Sindome is presented as a game where roleplay is REQUIRED. It is clearly stated during the logon process.
At the same time, there are ongoing, recurring conversations where some players express combat and death / vatting occur for seemingly no perceived reason (at the time of the actual attack / death), and without any real consequences.
There are also ongoing conversation about combat focused characters being overly powerful, or unable to be matched in long run by players who want to characters with softer, non-combat skills.
A final ongoing conversation is the ability for characters to have extended periods of "invulnerability" or near invulnerability. The most common example is when a character spends the majority of their time in an apartment, or other extremely secure and difficult to access location.
While counterpoints are available for all of the conversations, and both "sides" have valid opinions about them, I think it is fair to say that community and staff particularly will always be challenged to provide a gaming experience that is perceived as balanced and "fair" to as large of a portion of the player base as possible.
Against that backdrop, I have seen a number of changes that are putting combat centric characters in the position of having to do more to mitigate their risks.
I have also seen how the changes I'm going to dig into are forcing people out of lone wolf and duo / trio style small group dynamics.
(From here on, I'm going to use the term 'character' to refer to both single characters, and duo / trio groups of characters.)
The first major change has been to skillsofts. It had previously been possible for a combat character to be more or less self sustaining. They could naturally have top-tier, high UE invested Skills and Supporting Attributes to put them on par with the best, if not make them the best at their prefered form of combat. They could also use skillsofts to do all of the "support" type roles (driving, flying, healing, repairing, etc, etc). They could also do all of that in the safety of a locked vehicle, or a safe apartment. And to put icing the cake, they could take the chips out when they're done so that they didn't have to risk losing them in combat.
The skillsoft changes are awesome. I think it is under appreciated how in the long run this will make lone wolf / anti-social type roleplay more difficult. It will encourage characters to build, maintain and not betray support networks. It will increase the penalties for screwing over support characters. Lastly it helps balance "soft power" characters against combat monsters.
Bleed is another great change. Similar to skillsofts, previously a combat monster could pop out of the shadows, kill someone, maybe take some serious damage in the process, then pop some patches and walk away practically as if nothing happened.
With the new bleed system, there are some pretty serious after combat considerations. Characters have to strip off layers of protection to get to bleeding wounds. The skill checks to stop the bleeding are harder. The cost of supplies to stop the bleeding are more expensive.
All of those factors combine to once again, push people away from lone wolf roleplay and crime. It encourages people to maybe try other options besides combat to resolve conflicts. It maybe lets some conflicts go unresolved, or linger longer because the risk / cost of getting into combat is higher. It encourages support roles. I love bleed especially because what crime movie doesn't have some shady doctor aspect to it? All the way from the meth addict who failed out of vet school, doing surgery on a bullet wound with a rusty butter knife in some bar bathroom... to a well planned out clinic, provided by a fixer on the contingency that one of the team might get shot. CP ass heck. Double plus love.
The last change that makes the game a better place is being able to knock people off of or pull people out of vehicles. Imagine the combat monster who takes down their prey but gets wounded in the process. They make it to their vehicle, about to pass out from blood loss. Stripping off their armor, they start patching up their wounds. All of a sudden, the victim's friends show up. The vehicle is no longer an invulnerability shield. Wouldn't it be great for the combat monster if they had a driver who doubled as a medic and extra gun?
This has been a long post, but I took the time to write it to encourage people to embrace these changes. They are making the game better. They are encouraging more community. They are encouraging more interdependency. They are encouraging pro-social, instead of anti-social behaviors. They are providing more opportunities for betrayal and double crossing. They are providing more opportunities to develop real, deep, complex relationships. They are providing more avenues for long term success that aren't solely based on being able to quickly vat a key two or three characters and flee into the darkness.
As a poorly written ctag (should) say, "Specialization breeds in weakness."
I know it's a tough pill to swallow when years have been spent fine tuning a character to be "dominant" in a major portion of the game, or based around a certain type of play style. But that's life. Change is inevitable. Stagnation is boring. Evolve or Die.
"You've never wanted to kill yourself (when you were on top) until now (that things have changed)."